What Marvin Bagley’s re-classification means for the Atlanta Hawks

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Marvin Bagley III /

Perhaps one of the best overall prospects we’ve seen in the past decade, Marvin Bagley has thrusted his name into the 2018 NBA Draft.

Marvin Bagley was originally the top prospect of the high school recruiting class of 2018. However with fortunate circumstances allowing him to graduate high school earlier than expected, Bagley has been able to jump into this year’s college basketball season and is headed to Duke.

Now a draft class for next year, that was already loaded with big men, adds in arguably the best center prospect we’ve seen since Anthony Davis. With the top of the crop getting even stronger in this draft, it continues to be evident that the Atlanta Hawks certainly chose the right year to potentially be the worst team in the NBA.

What Marvin Bagley’s re-classification means for the Hawks is an additional incentive to this whole “tanking” endeavor. General manager Travis Schlenk emphasized a “talent over need” philosophy in this year’s draft and will likely stick to that in future drafts under his reign.

However, with point guard, both wings and power forward positions seemingly being set in place for Atlanta’s future the missing piece of the puzzle is glaringly the center position. There are multiple ways of potentially filling that center void for the future, including next year’s free agency period. If Schlenk and company are in preference of continuing to build through the NBA draft, 2018 is the year to do it with Marvin Bagley being the praised jewel.

Now while it’s fun to think about, it would take a full year of downright awfulness in terms of play from the Hawks to put them in a position to draft Marvin Bagley. This is a prospect that has a rifling chance of being the top overall pick in next year’s draft, and at worse Bagley doesn’t fall anywhere past the second overall pick.

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It’s certainly possible for Atlanta to be put in such position considering the circumstances of the team now. However they could just as easily play themselves out of contention if things go well enough this year. The likeliness of this will be unknown until we are well into the upcoming NBA season. For now, we are free to dream and speculate.